Topics: Housing, Rereātea - Midday News

New Housing and Urban Development Ministry 

By Jessica Tyson

A new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is going to be set up to help the government deliver on its priorities of making housing more affordable and cities more liveable.

Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford announced today that the new ministry will be established from August 1 this year and will officially start operating on October 1.

"Addressing the national housing crisis is one of the biggest challenges our government faces. The new ministry will provide the focus and capability in the public service to deliver our reform agenda," says Twyford. 

The new ministry will be the government's lead advisor on housing and urban development. It will provide across-the-board advice on housing issues, including responding to homelessness, ensuring affordable, warm, safe and dry rental housing in the private and public market, and the appropriate support for first home buyers.

"Too many New Zealanders are hurting because of their housing situation. Many are locked out of the Kiwi dream of home ownership. Others are homeless or suffering the health effects of poor-quality housing," says Twyford.

Funding:

Initially, the ministry will be set up by moving functions across from existing agencies, and look at utilising funding from their existing operational budgets: 

  • From the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment:  the housing and urban policy functions, the KiwiBuild Unit and the Community Housing Regulatory Authority.
  • From the Ministry of Social Development: policy for emergency, transitional and public housing.
  • From the Treasury: monitoring of Housing New Zealand (HNZ) and Tāmaki Redevelopment Company (TRC). 

The Government is:

  •     Ramping up efforts to house the homeless
  •     Building affordable homes through KiwiBuild
  •     Modernising and building more public housing
  •     Reforming the tenancy laws to make life better for renters
  •     Setting minimum standards to make rentals warm and dry
  •     Adjusting the tax settings to discourage speculation
  •     Setting up an Urban Development Authority to lead large-scale urban development projects